Monday, September 10, 2012

If you were diabetic...

Depression is officially worse than Diabetes. For years, I've fought it, at times able to hold it at bay without help. Well, last year, I finally had to admit that I was tired of fighting so hard all the time and I asked for some help. I remember so many conversations with Anne about the pros and cons of medicine, most of which consisted of me being stubborn and her actually knowing what was best. (hm, that's still kinda true..) She said "If you were diabetic, would you take insulin?" yep. well isn't that just ironic? ha! Amidst several of these illustrations, she said "Amy, if I felt the way you do, I'd take something." Well, that did it. I respect her so much and care so much about her opinion and God used her to move me, through many layers of history, resentment, anger, uncertainty, fear, and sadness, to a place of acceptance regarding medication. I argued that treating it wasn't the same as having Diabetes or some other physical disease, but then it helped. It gave me back my life. It reminded me that depression is not my identity, that I don't have to live in this fog where life is too much to handle. It reminded me that I love to laugh. It lifted the darkness just enough to give me some strength and some hope that my life could be good and fun again. It opened a door for there to be real progress and growth in therapy instead of just the sadness police. I remember being amazed at how fast it helped, yet still skeptical. and I also remember when one pill wasn't enough. I felt so much better compared to where I had been that I had a hard time realizing that there was still more freedom to be had. My meter of what is "normal" was smashed a long time ago by years of sadness and hidden grief. I was told multiple times in multiple ways that I wasn't getting the full benefit that meds could bring. Still, I felt crazy. Not only did I need depression meds, I needed 2. Well, they were right. I need 2. The darkness continued to lift and I felt like I could breathe deep for the first time in years. I remember times of lamenting in my car over the fact that I am dependent on these medicines to function in life and I remember times of rejoicing in my car just singing praises to the Lord for these 2 pills that I have to take everyday. I felt rescued and cared for.

Depression is deceitful. It makes you forget those times of freedom. It surrounds you with doubt and paints despair where there once was joy. It comes quick and it's sneaky. and all of a sudden, you feel like your life has been flipped upside down and smashed into the ground. Guess what; when that's your life, it's hard to see the reality of what is happening. Sometimes it takes some scary things to shock you into the truth that you need help. again. And then the shame comes. again? really? I feel like a problem child, always asking for favors and concessions to be made for my health. I have appointments and bad days and other diseases that complicate matters. I'm so tired of not being able to handle my own life. and I have a hard time getting out of bed and going to work in the morning but doesn't everyone have a hard time getting up and going to work in the morning? it's so hard to know. but I know that I have had mornings where I have been glad to get up and go take care of those precious kids. and I know that it's been a while since I've been glad. I'm not a vegetable. I still laugh and I still smile. It's just not as full, not as rich, not as real. Depression dulls things. it makes everything seem dull and heavy. Even my forehead feels heavier, like it's going to press down and usurp my eyes. It seems like moving or making decisions or pressing on to another day is like walking through thick gooey mud. You have to keep moving or you'll get sucked under but it's hard as hell and sometimes you really wonder if it might be better to just stop and let the mud wash over you and sometimes you wish you had gone a different way and when you come out on the other side, you're still covered in mud and wondering if you'll ever know what it's like to be clean again and trying to brush it off just spreads it everywhere and eventually you just give up and accept the fact that you're the messy girl who trudged, ever so slowly, through the mud. A good friend of mine said "Don't forget, you can't take God out of the equation." Of course you can't. He's the one who made the mud and made the girl. He's the one who knows that the mud is really making her clean. He's the one who trudged through the mud already, who knows what it's like to taste despair and darkness, who is powerful enough that at any moment he could snatch the girl out of the mud and paint rainbows and butterflies around her. If he wanted to. Job says to God, in a weak moment, "I wish I had never been born..." and God says "Where were you when I put the stars in the heavens?.." among many other things. For real, though. Who am I to know what is best or why this is part of my story?

There's this song I love...shocker, I know! it's called "No Fight Left" by JJ Heller and it says "there's no place I can go where you don't already know how to reach right down and pull me out...I need you, I need you, I need you.." I've probably written about this song before because it's one of the few that I've found that really express how I feel when I'm in the midst of this. There's no fight left in me, but maybe that's where I should be. Maybe that's what God wants from me. He wants me to give up trying and give it all to Him. I could be mad at God because I know that if he wanted to, he could jerk me right out of this place tonight. but I'm not mad at him because I know that if he wanted to he could jerk me right out of this place tonight. He could rescue me here and now but he's choosing to leave me here and I've lived through this enough to know that he's a God who has beautiful, powerful purpose behind the things that he does. He hasn't forgotten me but instead he says in Zechariah 2 that he is a "wall of fire" around me and that he "will be the glory in [my] midst." Piper says "He is never content to give us the protection of his fire; he will always give us the pleasure of his presence." After all, he knows when I sit and when I rise and even when I settle on the far side of the sea, his hand is still there. and eventually, the night will shine like the day because even the darkness is not dark to him. Praise God that the darkness is not dark to him! I'm restless until I rest in him and there's nothing that can satisfy my soul but him and he loves me and will always be enough. He just has to remind me sometimes. Such a severe mercy.

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